If anyone is thinking today’s game away to Bournemouth looks easy for Championship leaders Blackpool, beware the wrath of Paul Ince.
The Pool boss is sick of hearing people describe the trip to Dorset and Tuesday’s visit to Millwall as ‘easier’ than the last two matches against Reading and Watford.
Having won those games 1-0, Pool are sitting pretty with 13 points out of 15 but Ince won’t stand for anyone taking their eye off the ball.
“I hate the word ‘easy’,” he said. “Nothing is easy at this football club. If you hear people talking about these being easier games ... well, complacency is a terrible thing to have in football.
“If anything, these two games are harder with all the travelling. There are no easy games in this league. You saw that last season, when 10 teams could have gone down.
“So if there are people who have bigger expectations for the next two games, then I don’t want to hear from them.
“With our budget we should be third-bottom of the table.”
Many supporters went into the season fearing the worst after the departure of 16 players and a frustrating summer in the transfer market.
Ince has worked wonders to get the best out of his depleted squad, which seems to have changed the expectations of most – but not of the manager himself.
He added: “To be changing expectation after only five games is dangerous. We have 41 to go.
“Our expectation is still to get to 50 points, then we will see where we are. We need to lower our expectations.It’s all about building.
“I’ve just seen Andre Villas-Boas coming out and saying Spurs won’t win the league, and they’ve spent £100m.
“I’ve spent tuppence here, so you won’t see me expecting to win our league.
“We need to consolidate after a scare last season, to build and get some stability.”
Today’s opponents have also started the season well. After conceding 11 goals on their travels to Huddersfield and Watford, the Cherries have bounced back and sit sixth in the Championship.
And Ince is only too aware of their quality. He said: “We are going to a very good Bournemouth side, who have invested a lot of money in their side.
“They play some very good football under Eddie Howe. He’s a very good manager with great ideas. It’s great to see him back there after things didn’t go too well at Burnley.
“That can happen to any manager – I know that for sure.
“He’s gone back there and taken them straight up, which shows what a top coach he is. It will be a tough game.”